|Safety Meeting Topics (Bilingual)|
What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?
A Material Safety Data Sheet is a document that contains information on the chemical make-up, use, storage, handling, emergency procedures and potential health effects related to a hazardous material. The MSDS contains much more information about the material than the label on the container. MSDSs are prepared and written by the manufacturer of the material.
What is the purpose of an MSDS?
The purpose of an MSDS is to inform you of:
What information is on the MSDS?
There are 9 categories of information that must be present on an MSDS. These are:
Even with all of the above information on an MSDS, it might not have everything you need to know about a material. For example, health hazard information is usually presented in general terms. Your health and safety specialist should be able to help you find more information if it is needed.
Why is an MSDS hard to read?
Originally, MSDSs were intended to be used by industrial hygienists, chemical engineers and safety professionals. Now, MSDSs are used by employers, employees, emergency responders and anyone else requiring information on a material. Some MSDSs look very different from others. This is because law specifies the content of the MSDS, but the format is left up to the manufacturer of the material.
When would I use an MSDS?
You should always know the hazards of a material before you start using it. For most people who work with a material, there are sections of the MSDS that are more important than others. You should always read the name of the material, know the hazards, understand the safe handling and storage requirements, and understand what to do in an emergency.
Hazard Communication Standard
MSDSs form the cornerstone of this standard. The Hazard Communication standard requires employers to; maintain an inventory of hazardous materials, provide employees training on the potential hazards associated with a material, obtain and maintain MSDSs for each material onsite, establish proper methods and types of labels, and inform contractors of the hazards that their employees may be exposed to in their work area.
For more detailed information, discuss your questions with your safety and health representative, or visit the website maintained by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardcommunications/index.html.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.
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